The Middle School Math Program at Sacred Heart builds upon previously learned material in the lower grades. Students use technology through IPADS and an in-teractive program called IXL to reinforce at home what they learn in class. This program allows for real-time monitoring and provides daily results and analyzed progress that students can view. Students work in small groups and independ-ently through guided and independent practice. Our objective is to provide an ef-fective math program that incorporates prior knowledge from previous years and encourages upward growth and assimilation of those skills so that each student reaches their potential in math.
Grade six – Whole numbers, decimals, data, graphs, patterns, variables, number theory, fractions, ratios, proportions, percents, geometry, measurements, prob-ability, integers, inequalities and algebraic expressions.
Grade seven – Decimals, integers, exponents, factors, fractions, equations, ine-qualities, ratios, rates, proportions, percents, geometry, measurements, patterns, graphing the coordinate plane, displaying and analyzing data, probability.
Grade eight – Algebra, integers, expressions, rational numbers, coordinate plane, applications of proportions and percents, equations and inequalities, ge-ometry, measurements, using graphs to analyze data, probability, functions, polynomials and properties of exponents.
Students in all grades also practice real-world math applications through monthly exercises that strengthen understanding of budgeting skills, banking and interest rates.
The Middle School Science Program at Sacred Heart builds upon previous learned material in the lower grades. Students use technology through the use of IPADS and have access to a functioning laboratory where experiments, investi-gations and demonstrations can be performed. Each spring, students are re-quired to complete an extensive science research project and experiment. These are displayed proudly at a science fair that is held at Sacred Heart. Our objective is to provide an effective science program that incorporates prior knowledge and encourages upward growth. Through the scientific method, the process of ma-ture scientific inquiry and its application of solutions to real-world issues are ex-amined and explored. At least once during their three years in Middle School, students will attend Nature’s Classroom, a week long field trip that focuses on science and team/character building.
All grades continue to study four main areas of science:
• Earth Science
• Physical Science
These are some of the sub-topics found within each the four areas:
Forces, Energy, Electricity, Magnetism, Earth Materials and Resources, Ecology, Atoms and Molecules, Solar System, Weather, Cells, Plants, Genetics, Evolution, Processes and Change, Physical and Chemical Reactions.
The overall purpose of our Language Arts curriculum is to enable students to become effective communicators both in academic settings and in their daily lives. Reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, fluency, and comprehension skills are all integral parts of our curriculum. Our objective is to provide an effective language arts program that will promote continued growth in the use of language so that students can express their individual ideas clearly and effectively in both verbal and written form.
Our spelling series, Spelling Connections, contains word lists that provide true differentiated instruction for all levels of students, including English Language Learners. Word lists are organized so students can see the relationships among words, visually reinforcing valuable pattern and rule-based instruction
Because words are the very foundation of learning, improving students’ vocabulary has become an educational priority. Student word knowledge is strongly linked with academic accomplishments because a rich vocabulary is essential to successful reading comprehension. Our vocabulary series, Wordly Wise 3000, has been designed to help students in kindergarten through grade 8 meet Common Core and state standards for vocabulary and reading comprehension.
The curriculum focuses on the proper use of language for both personal and public reason. Each year the plan of study is meant to build on previously learned skills. Our Voyages in English series provides students with the proficiency in writing skills and grammar, and mastery in using genre to communicate successfully with any audience.
Crafted around eight real-life applications of writing per year, our Voyages in English series helps developing writers appreciate and create the dynamic harmony between structure and expression that is good writing. The Collins Writing Program is an integral part of our writing curriculum.
Our 6th grade reading series, Trophies, contains a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction selections, including many paired selections to promote reading across texts. Instruction helps students develop a thorough understanding of genre characteristics and text structures. Students analyze both literary elements and devices and expository organizational patterns, such as cause/effect and compare/contrast, to understand increasingly difficult texts.
Our 7th and 8th grade reading series, Prentice Hall Literature, offers explicit instruction of reading skills and strategies taught as students explore classic and contemporary literature. Each unit engages the students’ application of critical thinking and analysis skills, understanding of multicultural genres and diverse authors, and the real world connections to literature.
Our reading series, Read for Real, delivers the best practices of direct and explicit strategy instruction for reading nonfiction. The instructional model teaches comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency through exciting, on-level content-area reading.
Spanish is part of our core curriculum and is our belief that foreign language instruction is an integral component of liberal arts, college preparatory education and all students should be exposed to and become proficient in a foreign language before graduating high school. Exposure to a foreign language and culture creates bridges to tolerance, acceptance and respect. Students develop a deeper awareness of the characteristics that bind us together as human beings even as they learn about the differences that define each culture. In addition, the integration of the study of language and culture (which includes daily life, history, literature, visual arts and performing arts, mathematics and science) creates natural links to other disciplines.
Grade 6: Spanish vocabulary, basic sentence and question formation, speaking, listening and writing skills are develop in thematic units. (i.e. school activities, occupations, descriptions, food & meals etc.).
Grade 7: Subject pronouns, present tense of regular and irregular verbs, agreement of adjectives, telling time, possessive adjectives, and the verb “to like.”
Grade 8: This course serves to improve student’s vocabulary and grammar knowledge in a progressive fashion so that they can read short passages as well as comprehend and answer questions both orally and writing. The preterite tense as well as object pronouns. Additional topics in Hispanic culture and geography are covered.
Middle School focuses on the WHY of history as well as the facts. This approach allows students to accomplish two things. First, looking for commonalities in history facilitates students being able to make predicitions about what will happen, a high level thinking skill. Secondly, understanding why something happens allows for analysis and evaluation, all high level thinking skills. Memorization of facts will help pass tests, but this does not allow for growth, it is short term memory only. Knowing why something happened in the past creates an idea web into which new information will fit. History becomes less scary and mysterious.
Grade 6 focuses on Ancient Civilization and although there are many common threads which run through a developing river valley civilization, there are also new twists and interesting facts. THe eighty characteristics of civilization are the same for all: a well organized government, job specialization and trade, public works, social classes, arts and architecture, religion, and writing. But when you add in pyramids, ziggurats, samurai wariors, war elephants, smelly snails, eight armed goddesses, dragons, gladiators, etc. what’s not to like? It is going to be a great year.
Grade 7 traces the development of the Americas, from hunter-gatherers, to the Age of Exploration, Colonization of the New World and leading up to the Revolutionary War. Then things get really interesting, we have to creat a new government from scratch. We examine the Declaration of Independence, with its revolutionary idea of getting rid of government that does not work! The Constitution, a LIVING DOCUMENT that not only served the needs of our agrarian forefathers, but, still works in the space age and the computer age, same document! We examine our guaranteed rights tracing the ideas from Magna Carta, through the English Bill of Rights, and straight into our Bill of Rights. We willd ebate the issue of slavery and examine the Civil War, knowing that Lincoln will not only win the war, but, create a new definition of freedom, run by the people. It is a fasinating tour de force.
Grade 8 takes it from there, examining the birth of he modern age: new technology, new ideas, search for empire and markets, the rise of nationalism and militarism, which leads us into WWI. Post WWI, creates a new world with new values, live for now and throw out stuffy tradition. This age of exhilaration clashes with traditional values in the Scopes Trial and crashes and burns in the Great Depression. Loss ofhope is reviatlized with a new goal, to avent Pearl Harbor and free Europe from the Nazis. World guilt from the holocause leads to the creation of Israel and displacement of the Palestinian people, creating a hotbed of tension in the mideast. The Red Scare and McCarthyism temper the calm of the 1950s. Eisenhower’s Containment Policy of Communism marches us right into Korea and Vietnam. Morality is redefined in the 1960s in an age of protests for Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and Anti-war demonstrations. This counter-culture creates a new social order as democracy is extended to more and more people in our search for justice. It is a year in which we learn the power of the people and the change that happens when we speak out for what is right.
In Middle School, we focus on faith: What is it? Why is it important? Where do we get it? In trying to answer these questions, we learn about Church Doctrine, being a people of hope, putting our faith in Jesus, and becoming a true Christian. All classes focus on the bible and analyze the Gospel Readings with opportunities for personal reflection. We teach the Gospel message, but Rosary prayers, Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, Coporal/Spiritual Works of Mercy, and the Beatitudes tech HOW to live out the Gospel message in our daily lives. Holy Scripture and Gospel Readings are done in all classes, as are Personal Reflection Papers on Scripture readings. Service projects teach service to our neighbors and to live beyond self. We model Jesus in all we do.
Grade 6 focuses on Jewish Heritage and Roots by studying Old Testament Patriarchs, prophets, kings, and important people. We examine the covenants from Abraham to Jesus, the New Covenant. Creation stories, and the early struggles of the Israelites enable students to understand the great love God has for us, and his infinite mercy. This unearned gift is freely given to us by our loving GOd, and we are expected to pass it on to others. Respect, kindness, understanding, morality, compassion are emphasized in our lessons and in our school.
Grade 7 advances into the New Testament with a review of some Old Testament readings. We focus on the New Testament as Jesus teaches how to live our the Law of Moses, Social justice, service, morality and ethical judgments underline the lessons and give students a background for good decision-making as they approach adulthood. Examination of Conscience, prayerful reflection, and a strong prayer life serve as guideposts to a responsible faithfilled life.
Grade 8, while reviewing Old Testament and New Testament lessons, traces the growth of the early Church and the role of evangelization, which we are all called to serve. Saints’ lives give examples of making hard choices that guide us to live a Catholic life-style. Lessons reveal to students that God’s teachings act as guideposts both to eternal life and a peaceful heart. Morality and moral choices involving the sanctity of life, authentic love, appropriate life choices, modesty, and working for the good of all, are emphasized and discussed. We learn to live as God’s children and model Him to the world.